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Paul Setzer

Paul Setzer was born profoundly deaf into a hearing family in Oklahoma City, OK.  His family later moved to Los Angeles where he attended the John Tracy Clinic at age 2 and then enrolled at the California School for the Deaf in Riverside.  At 18, Paul designed a poster that won the Latham Foundation Art Award.

Paul has a B.F.A from Gallaudet University and earned a M.F.A. in Visual Communication at George Washington University.  He worked on the staff at the United States Department of Justice as a visual information specialist before joining the Gallaudet faculty, where he is currently an associate professor in the Department of Art.  His sign language illustrations have been published by Simon & Schuster, DawnSignPress and Gallaudet University Press.  Finding that his teaching commitments limited the time he could devote to personal work, he began a personal pursuit to make his own painting accessible to all. In 1997, his first show was at the gallery of Washburn Arts Center at Gallaudet University.  His second show, at the Very Special Arts gallery in Washington, DC in 1998, was very well received.  This led to a decision to continue to show Paul's works, which begin touring in Washington, DC, Frederick, MD, and other cities and towns in that area after the close of the exhibit at Deaf Studies VI.

Paul is married to Kathleen and has two children, Lisl and Eric and three stepchildren, Kristine, David and Julie. They live in Middletown, MD.

Artist's Statement

"'Visual and Auditory Senses: Series of Three': these three paintings are the broad range of emotional visual and auditory senses whose expressive power depends on orchestrations of radiant and chromatic colors. I have a good perception of the visual sense but the auditory sense engages me by toying with my perception of space and reality. The illusion of sounds in a still and silent medium engages my sense; therefore,  it captures my attention.  With illusion, art imitates life in a most interesting way.... my ability to be beautiful or to be communicative feeling.

"My intention is to open freedom of expression by sharing my perception of visual and auditory senses in each of my works, taking into account the full range of human communicative behavior.

"These paintings are considered being an abstract surrealism that is based on the experience of the visual and auditory senses. ... he  works all his surfaces, large, or small, to the finest details in his compositions. In his paintings, he creates these edges of the boundaries effected by gradually changing from light violet to dark violet that depicts one person's path of life. There is a complex element of one long rectangle shaping out toward expanding edges into one section of human ears on the area. There are two different black bars representing the two obstacles in a person's life such as his/or her mid-life crisis or accidents and also another two different white bars such as his/or her puberty or accomplishments. There are also two black bars to be put on the top and bottom of all these paintings depicting "from the cradle to the grave" in a human's span of life. It has a lot of interpretations for comparing with the degrees of the visual and auditory senses for some hearing, hard of hearing and deaf people who encounter a perspicacity in hearing, seeing and feeling the sound and vision.